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November 01
Selected by Karmen from Portland, Oregon
Karmen won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Behind the Scenes at the Museum
by Kate Atkinson

"Kate Atkinson's remarkable first novel [is] a work full of the grimness, grit, and grandeur of Yorkshire life...a multigenerational tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional Yorkshire family and one of the funniest works of fiction to come out of Britain in years....The author is at her best and sharpest when juxtaposing the dreary frustrations of daily life with the searing horror of men and women caught up in the careless wreckage of this century's history....Like Yorkshire itself, [this novel] is all sharp edges; it is a caustic and affectionate portrayal of a world in which bleak but nourishing wit is the only safety net." Ben MacIntyre, The New York Times Book Review (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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November 02
Selected by Albert from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Landscape and Memory (95 Edition)
Landscape and Memory (95 Edition)
by Simon Schama

"A work of great ambition and enormous intellectual scope...consistently provocative...in which Schama applies his highly refined technique of cultural scrutiny [to] the various ways in which nature is a cultural creation, a human invention that serves the purpose of myth, identity, consolation, and belief....a fabulous concoction. Indeed, given its subject, it is appropriate to describe it as a foamy cascade of erudition, a variegated forest of stories illustrating the culture's primordial attachment to visions of nature." Richard Bernstein, The New York Times (read more)

Your price $15.00
Used - Trade Paper
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November 03
Selected by Ayse from Oberlin, Ohio
Ayse won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Among the Missing
Among the Missing


"Dan Chaon knows things. As evidenced by his second short-story collection, Among the Missing, he?s one of those writers who possess an uncanny and seemingly otherworldly understanding of the human condition and the world of muted emotions....These 12 stories...further establish Chaon as a remarkable chronicler of a very American kind of sadness, much in the tradition of Richard Yates, Raymond Carver, and Denis Johnson....These stories are to be savored despite, and perhaps because of, their unrelenting bleakness. Like the blues, they have a cathartic quality: You might feel worse but then you feel better. And then you want to read them again." The San Francisco Chronicle (read more)


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November 04
Selected by Phyllis from New york, New York
Phyllis won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Pentimento (73 Edition)
Pentimento (73 Edition)
by Lillian Hellman

"Engaging....The dramatic quality is everywhere evident, not only in the background of social intrigue before which many of these lives are enacted, but rather more importantly in the author's exquisite sense of timing. A woman of rare wisdom who tosses off her mots like unimportant discarded jewels....She writes what seems to me a prose as brilliantly finished as any that we have in these years." Mark Schorer, The New York Times (read more)

Your price $11.00
Used - Trade Paper
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November 05
Selected by Tasha from Los Angeles, California
Tasha won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Use Me: Fiction
Use Me: Fiction
by Elissa Schappell

"Elissa Schappell's Use Me is a wonderfully satisfying book, the kind of coming-of-age novel that somehow fulfills the expectations of the genre in unexpected ways. Schappell is a comic writer with impeccable timing, and Use Me is quick and entertaining.....Schappell takes a risk that is all the more startling and painful coming as it does in such an amusing book ? she is uncompromising not only about what is absurd and contemptible. She is uncompromising about what is sincere." Cathleen Schine, The New York Times Book Review (read more)

Your price $2.95
Used - Trade Paper
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November 06
Selected by Karen from Auckland, New Zealand
Karen won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
How Proust Can Change Your Life
How Proust Can Change Your Life
by Alain de Botton

"[Alain de Botton's] curious, humorous, didactic, and dazzling book bears the subtitle 'Not a Novel'; it contains, however, more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction....De Botton, in emphasizing, with his amusing but straight-faced pedagogical foppishness, Proust's healing, advisory aspects, does us the service of rereading him on our behalf, providing of that vast sacred lake a sweet and lucid distillation." John Updike, The New Yorker (read more)

Your price $3.50
Used - Trade Paper
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November 07
Selected by Bill from Dallas, Texas
Bill won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Peace Like a River
Peace Like a River
by Leif Enger

"Not since Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain or Cormac McCarthy's Cities of the Plain have I been so engrossed in the reading of a book, and in a story told so beautifully. While reading it in the airport, I nearly missed my plane, so completely did I forget my surroundings; and upon arriving at my destination, I nearly forgot to get off. Peace Like a River is that loveliest of gifts, a truly great book, into which the reader can sink deliciously and completely. The characters fill the reader's days and nights; and in the reading of it, we cross over into amazing territory." Rick Bass, author of Watch (read more)

Your price $7.50
Used - Hardcover
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November 08
Selected by Michelle from San Antonio, Texas
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
by Kay Redfield Jamison

"Manic-depressive illness kills tens of thousands every year, many of them young, gifted and imaginative people....Kay Redfield Jamison's book is a devastatingly candid account of her experience of the disease....She cites the Chinese belief that to conquer a beast you must first find it beautiful and this she has tried to do with her own manic-depressive illness. The story at times makes harrowing reading but the writer has wit and the soul of a poet....She is also generous about the many people who helped along the way....You finish the last page feeling that you have shared the author's healing experience." The Economist (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 09
Selected by Janet from Victoria, British Columbia
Janet won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Blue Angel
Blue Angel
by Francine Prose

"Part Orwell, part Crucible, Blue Angel is a darkly funny look at the paranoid star-chamber world of sexual correctness in the American university system ? Dobie Gillis plunged into Dante's Inferno. Against a backdrop of tenure-clutching terror, Francine Prose is once again the great defender of the all-too-human: the weak-willed, the inconsistent, the hungry-hearted and all other sinners caught between their own personal demons and the mandates of our increasingly Puritanical culture. A defiant and compassionate novel by a great writer." Richard Price, Lingua Franca (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Trade Paper
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November 10
Selected by Eliza from Chico, California
Eliza won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image
by Leonard Shlain

"Leonard Shlain may himself be the quintessential fusion of word and image. With superb writing, he draws for us a fascinating account of the evolution of our male and female ways of knowing, of the curses ? not just the blessings ? of reverence for the word alone. As a history and science lesson, this book is a vivid, breathing page-turner. As a threshold to a new perception of our history and our future, it offers both chilling reminders and great hope." Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., author of Women Who Run With the Wolves (read more)

Your price $10.95
Used - Trade Paper
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November 11
Selected by Ron from Cordova, Tennessee
Silence
Silence
by Shusaku Endo

"Silence is a remarkable work, a somber, delicate, and startlingly empathetic study of a young Portuguese missionary during the relentless persecution of the Japanese Christians in the early seventeeth century." John Updike, The New Yorker (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 12
Selected by Lisa from Portland, Oregon
Lisa won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Drinking: A Love Story
Drinking: A Love Story
by Caroline Knapp

"This remarkable book is far more than an addiction-and-recovery tale. Knapp doesn't see herself as a victim, and she refuses to blame anyone else for her problems, not even her parents. Instead she probes her past and reflects on the shards of experience she uncovers without a trace of the blinkered self-absorption that makes so many memoirs of troubled lives so irritating....[Knapp] is a rare writer, with a sophisticated, beautifully controlled style. Drinking not only describes a triumph; it is one." Laura Shapiro, Newsweek (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 13
Selected by Beth from Newburyport, Massachusetts
Beth won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Geek Love
Geek Love
by Katherine Dunn

"This audacious, mesmerizing novel should carry a warning: 'Reader Beware.' Those entering the world of carnival freaks described by narrator Olympia Binewski, a bald, humpbacked albino dwarf, will find no escape from a story at once engrossing and repellent, funny and terrifying, unreal and true to human nature. Dunn's vivid, energetic prose, her soaring imagination and assured narrative skill fuse to produce an unforgettable tale....This raw, shocking view of the human condition, a glimpse of the tormented people who live on the fringe, makes readers confront the dark, mad elements in every society. After a hiatus of almost two decades, the author of Attic and Truck has produced a novel that everyone will be talking about, a brilliant, suspenseful, heartbreaking tour de force." Publishers Weekly (read more)

Your price $8.00
Used - Trade Paper
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November 14
Selected by Ann from South Portland, Maine
Ann won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Fraud
Fraud
by David Rakoff

"To be sure, Rakoff can issue a withering snark with the best of them. But once his rapier wit has sliced the buttons off its target's clothing, revealing the quivering, vulnerable mass within, his fundamental sense of decency gets the best of him and he can't resist reaching out and helping the poor unfortunate soul get back on its feet, straighten its duds and sally forth with a heartfelt 'Don't worry, it's not you. It's me.'" Amy Reiter, Salon.com (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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November 15
Selected by Stephen from Salisbury, UK
No Great Mischief (Vintage International)
No Great Mischief (Vintage International)
by Alistair Macleod

"There are phrases in Seamus Heaney's poem 'The Seed Cutters' which partly express what MacLeod does with his MacDonalds: 'compose the frieze / With all of us there, our anonymities.' No Great Mischief is more complex than a frieze, but has that kind of starkness. MacLeod writes with such 'simple' lucidity as is achieved only by mighty efforts in, one suspects, the wee small hours. The book is pervaded by humour and colour, intensely vivid, and very, very moving." Angus Calder, The Independent (read more)

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November 16
Selected by Tracie from Wilsonville, Oregon
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less


"Helped by her siblings' memories as well as her own, Ryan's remarkable, engaging memoir stands as a testimonial to her mother's success in carrying off a prize far greater than cars, washing machines or piles of much-needed money ? bringing her children through potentially horrific times with their spirits intact. In its delicate balance of the comic, the tragic and the occasionally insane, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio leaves a sense of wistfulness at never having met this woman, and perhaps a fleeting regret at what might have been had she not been stuck in such circumstances ? a sentiment Evelyn Ryan herself wouldn't have stood for. She wasn't one for regrets, or for letting other people define her." The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review (read more)


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November 17
Selected by Amber from Chicago, Illinois
The Samurai's Garden
The Samurai's Garden
by Gail Tsukiyama

"Gail Tsukiyama has crafted a stunning novel that unfolds as quietly and profusely as the seasons. Against the backdrop of wartime aggression, the characters of this memorable book find hope at the end of devastation, beauty lodged deep inside pain." Anndee Hochman, The Philadelphia Inquirer (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 18
Selected by John from East Brunswick, New Jersey
John won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $80.
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
by Charles Seife

"Zero: The Biography Of A Dangerous Idea describes with good humor and wonder how one digit has bedeviled and fascinated thinkers from ancient Athens to Los Alamos. Charles Seife deftly argues that the concept of nothingness and its show-off twin, infinity, have repeatedly revolutionized the foundations of civilization and philosophical thought. If you're already a fan of mathematics or science, you will enjoy this book; if you're not, you will be by the time you finish it." John Rennie, Editor in chief of Scientific American (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 19
Selected by Miriam from London, UK
Miriam won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Call It Sleep
Call It Sleep
by Henry Roth

"Call It Sleep is the most profound novel of Jewish life that I have ever read by an American. It is a work of high art, written out of the full resources of modernism. It subtly interweaves gutter, cellar, sexual and religious taboos with the overwhelming love between a mother and son. It brings together the darkness and light of Jewish immigrant life before the First World War as experienced by a very young boy, really a child, who depends on his imagination alone to fend off a world so hostile that it begins with his own father." from the introduction by Alfred Kazin (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 20
Selected by Deborah from Issaquah, Washington
Deborah won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Oxford Companion to Food
The Oxford Companion to Food
by Alan Davidson

"From the day it was published ? no, from the day the bound proofs arrived ? it became the one basic reference work of food scholarship, the volume to which we will all turn first whenever we have a question about food ? historical, cultural, or botanical....It is undoubtedly the most important encyclopedic volume about food published in our lifetimes." Vogue (read more)

Your price $17.50
Used - Hardcover
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November 21
Selected by Marlena from Bath, Maine
Marlena won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories
by Alice Munro

"She is the most accomplished writer of short stories in all of North America and perhaps in the entire English-speaking world. Her stories consistently intrigue, entertain, and seduce the reader into the most exotic universes hidden in the mundane....A Munro story creates magic....Her telling continually startles and amazes, and we are grateful." Dan Cryer, Newsday (read more)

Your price $6.50
Used - Hardcover
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November 22
Selected by Jeanette from Roseville, Michigan
War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals
War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals
by David Halberstam

"If bureaucracy has a poet, his name is Halberstam. Taken alone, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Congress all are institutions of bewildering complexity. No one has ever done a better job of mapping how policy gets made in the interplay of these fiefdoms. Or perhaps I should say, how policy gets lost....Halberstam understands that the machinery is driven by personality as much as by events or policy. His portraits of the people who shaped military policy during the last decade give what might have been a dry study the flavor and drive of well-written history." Mark Bowden, The Washington Post Book World (read more)

Your price $8.95
Used - Hardcover
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November 23
Selected by Mike from Phoenix, Arizona
Mike won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Goats
Goats


"If you took the bitterness out of Charles Bukowski and threw in the edgy verve of Donald Barthelme, you might get something akin to the style of Mark Jude Poirier. But the truth is, Poirier's voice is so fresh and vital there is no one to compare it with." The Seattle Times (read more)


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November 24
Selected by Michael from Nelson, British Columbia
Michael won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
by Laurie Garrett

"Laurie Garrett has written a compelling account of the challenges that Nature continually throws at human civilization in the form of infectious diseases. Like earthquakes and hurricanes, the devastating diseases that periodically emerge — so vividly described by her — remind us how thin is the veneer that separates our high-tech society from personal and communal disaster....The Coming Plague is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the march of contemporary world history." Dr. David Baltimore, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 25
Selected by Vicki from Chicago, Illinois
Vicki won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Good Mother
Good Mother
by Sue Miller

"Every once in a while, a first novelist rockets into the literary atmosphere with a novel so accomplished that it shatters the common assumption that for a writer to have mastery, he or she must serve a long, auspicious apprenticeship. The novel arrives, all parts gleaming, ticking, and we are filled with awe. However did the novice learn to build this thing? We marvel. But the question is beside the point, which is that the thing exists, has form, energy and power. This is the case with Sue Miller's Good Mother, the work of a writer who has thus far published only a handful of short stories." Linda Wolfe. The New York Times Book Review (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 26
Selected by Meg from Sherwood, Oregon
Meg won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
by David Fromkin

"[It] achieves an ideal of historical writing: its absorbing narrative not only recounts past events but offers a useful way to think about them....The book is never argumentative or theoretical, however; it's a dense fabric of interrelated stories about diplomats and warriors. The scale is grand, but Fromkin never blurs detail as he follows the doings of a multitude of individuals from various nations....Although the book is sprinkled with pithy — and occasionally witty — summings up, the writing is businesslike rather than glittering. The book demands close attention and repays it. Much of the information here was not available until recent decades, and almost every page brings us news about a past that troubles the present." Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 27
Selected by Julie from Baldwin, New York
American Gods
American Gods
by Neil Gaiman

"American Gods is a crackerjack suspense yarn with an ending that both surprises and makes perfect sense, as well as many passages of heady, imagistic writing....a juicily original melding of archaic myth with the slangy, gritty, melancholy voice of one of America's great cultural inventions ? the hard-boiled detective; call it Wagnerian noir. The melting pot has produced stranger cocktails, but few that are as tasty." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read more)

Your price $14.95
Used - Hardcover
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November 28
Selected by Heidi from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Heidi won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St Vincent Millay
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St Vincent Millay
by Nancy Milford

"Nancy Milford has done it again. One seldom sees this level of brilliant, hands-on research in contemporary literary biography. The result is this compelling, keenly perceptive life of Edna St. Vincent Milay ? with its own savage beauty." Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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November 29
Selected by Susan from Helena, Montana
Tracks
Tracks
by Louise Erdrich

"Ms. Erdrich's novels, regional in the best sense, are 'about' the experience of Native Americans the way Toni Morrison's are about black people, William Faulkner's and Eudora Welty's about the South, Philip Roth's and Bernard Malamud's about the Jews. The specificity implies nothing provincial or small....Ms. Erdrich artfully sifts the miraculous through the mundane." New York Times Book Review (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 30
Selected by Raylene from Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe
The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe


"Following an account of Monroe's life, the author focuses on the period leading up to her death and presents evidence that Monroe was murdered in the name of national security, documents her death, and names those believed to be involved in the murder and cover-up." Booknews (read more)


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